The role of radiotherapy in melanoma

The role of radiotherapy in melanoma

22 April 2016

New research is re-writing the textbooks on what we know about melanoma by highlighting the effectiveness of radiotherapy as a treatment, reversing a long-held belief that melanoma was resistant to radiotherapy. The breakthrough has opened the floodgates for more detailed research into this underutilised treatment.

We are running a number of clinical trials, working in partnership with ANZMTG and many dedicated doctors around the world, looking at where and how radiotherapy can best be used.

Results from our recent international trial in high-risk stage 3 patients have shown that the chance of melanoma recurring is significantly reduced in patients who undergo radiotherapy after lymph node dissection. Localised radiation is also helping curb the spread of disease and improving quality of life.

Another trial is investigating the benefit of whole brain radiotherapy for patients with brain metastases, while a separate study is looking at irradiating tumours in patients already on combination targeted therapy.

Tissue from our BioSpecimen Bank is also helping researchers discover which types of melanoma are radiosensitive and which are not. This knowledge will help us develop more personalised medicine reducing unnecessary side-effects while effectively targeting specific melanoma types.

Our expertise in radiotherapy research is driving new and exciting collaborations with other research centres around the world, solidifying our international reputation as a leading multi-modality melanoma research and treatment centre.

Professor Gerald Fogarty, Radiation Oncologist at MIA who recently advised on a new melanoma centre of excellence in the U.S. said: “We currently have collaborations at 30 sites around the world including in the UK, Europe and both North and South America to enrol patients in our radiotherapy clinical trials. These doctors don’t get any financial gain out of these trials – they are simply trying to improve the lives of their patients.”

By partnering with like-minded, passionate and dedicated doctors around the world, and thanks to our patients involved in clinical trials, MIA is finding the most effective treatments and ultimately saving lives.